Charles Southern is almost 21 and serving life-without-parole for the shooting death of his friend Makia Coney. On Feb 10, 2010, he and classmate Conner Pridgen left school with Coney, took her to a nearby park and took turns shooting her in the head. At 17 years old, Charles Southern pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and a judge sentenced him to life without parole.
When this happened, I was teaching sixth grade at the same school where all three of these teens attended. My niece was in classes with all of them. We were all stunned beyond belief; there were no answers.
But now, he’s appealing that sentence based on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Miller vs. Alabama. Justices ruled that life-without-parole for children 17 and under is unconstitutional.
I watched the first ever televised interview with him tonight, “My dream was going into the military. Catching this case destroyed that” he says.
“Catching that case” is the way he refers to the killing of a girl who was his FRIEND.
He continued talking about his dreams. He said, “I think everyone should deserve to have a family.”
“Do you think you deserve that family?” the interviewer asked. He said he did.
The interviewer went on questioning him. She said people call him a cold-blooded killer. “Are you?” she asked him.
“No. I just made a mistake, cause that wasn’t me. Now they see the real me. Totally opposite.”
The most chilling statement he made was this: “Everybody knows kids will be kids”.
Kids WILL be kids. Murder isn’t a kid thing. It’s not like smoking pot or skipping school.
His advice to teens: “You have to find yourself. You have to stick with it. A life changing experience comes in all different shapes and forms. You don’t have to go to this extreme….You can save yourself.”
“Do you think you’ll save yourself?” he was asked.
“I already have,” was his response.
Southern hasn’t and can’t save himself.
The pride of your heart has deceived you… Obadiah1:3
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. Galatians 6:7